On Predatory Journalists

06.6.13

If you work at ABC News, today is a day that you ought to be ashamed of your career. This is the front page at Good Morning America.

GMA for dumb people

This is news? What went wrong?

Let me tell you what went wrong. Journalism went wrong.

Having never been to J School I still have the authority to declare this a non-news story, a predatory practice and egg on the face of every news outlet from People Magazine to NPR. Americans have turned into cannibals, raising children just so that we can devour them as they ripen.

Let me tell you what’s in today’s news (which is different than today’s headlines).

  • The US government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
  • An Internal Revenue Service official at the center of the agency’s latest scandal told lawmakers Thursday that an expensive conference held in 2010 conformed to existing rules, though he acknowledged it was not the best use of taxpayer money. The official, Faris Fink, said spending at the $4.1 million gathering should have been more closely scrutinized, and that new rules would prevent such a conference today.
  • The protests in Turkey that began over government plans to uproot trees in Istanbul’s main square to make way for a shopping mall have entered their seventh day.
  • Austria announced it is withdrawing 377 U.N. peacekeepers from the Golan Heights after Syrian rebels briefly overran a crossing point near the border with Israel on Thursday, a development that has deepened concerns the civil war is spreading to neighboring countries.
  • As a bulldozer began to clear away the debris of a collapsed building that killed six people in Philadelphia, city officials said a search for the dead and injured was nearly complete Thursday and an investigation had already begun to determine how a relatively commonplace demolition job could have gone so wrong.
  • Esther Williams, the swimming champion turned actress who starred in glittering and aquatic Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 91.

 Any of these would make spectacular headlines. If you’re wedded to leading with a pretty face by all means round up one of ABC’s zillion actors and talk about whatever it is they’re promoting. We get it. We understand these shows need a little celebrity. 

What is unconscionable is that every media outlet in the US is covering the mental illness and attempted suicide of a child. I don’t care if she’s in the spotlight. I don’t care that she’s an actor or a famous man’s child. I don’t care that she’s friends with Oprah or that she has a million twitter followers.

There is nothing newsworthy about this. We have a child who needs help. If she had a broken leg and the press kicked her in the knee we’d send them to prison. At the moment she has an abundance of stress in her life either real or imagined and the press is piling on because they have antacid to sell.

Every time we watch, share and participate in stories like these we are culpable.

You are smart and engaged. I’m begging you to be still for just a moment and think about what 15 was for you. Forget that this is a celebrity child and think about being 15 and not having a dream for the future. Think about being so overwhelmed with whatever it was that terrified you and then think about what it is for that fear of the future to be stronger than the fear of pain and death.

Every news anchor, every producer, every psychiatrist and talking head that goes on TV, radio or print to talk about this child is contributing to her misery. They might as well waltz into that hospital and help her plan more self destruction.

I couldn’t bring myself to watch any of the segments. I will not force myself to read any of the drivel that’s written about this non-news event. That anyone dares to ask the question “What went wrong?” is offensive.

Things go wrong. Things go wrong in public, things go wrong in private, things go wrong in reality and things go wrong in the fantasy world that teens and young adults have formed in their own minds.

We’ve entered a dystopian age where journalists lead the charge and America answers their battle cry. Instead of tearing each other limb from limb we do it psyche by psyche.

 

Ask a Forensic Psychiatrist How to Prevent Mass Shootings

12.16.12

This is from 2009. I offer you this video without commentary. It says everything.

Sometimes I Forget that Breastfeeding Involves a Secondary Sexual Organ

08.18.11

When I went on Fox and Friends and Dr Keith Ablow talked about breasts as secondary sexual organs I tried to contain myself. For many people ears, necks and toes are highly erotic but we don’t have laws to cover them them up.

We do have laws that allow women to feed their children anywhere that women are allowed to be. So basically no, you may not feed your infant son in a men’s locker room. I’m willing to call this reasonable.

Now, before you confuse me for a lactivist understand that although I support your entitlement to nurse freely I think that manners matter and I’d like to see women of older children nurse discreetly. If you have an infant I don’t care if you have to plop both breasts on a dinner plate to get the job done. When you’re nursing a child who can tie their own shoes I’d prefer you were somewhere private, not glaring at me in a restaurant.

We need lactivists. We need batshit crazy extremists who will nurse their seven year olds at Applebees. Sometimes you’ve got to be outrageous to make some changes.

In a statement given to KHOU 11 News, Pure Fitness for Women said: “Our company strongly supports and encourages mothers to pursue the healthy development and nutrition of their children through breastfeeding. We believe breastfeeding is one of the most important, natural and personal ways for a mother to bond with her baby.”

According to the statement, the gym, as a private business, was also entrusted with the care and custody of minor children in the Kid’s Club area.

Velazquez said several children, including an 11-year-old boy, were in the Kids Club at the time Montgomery-Schlanser was breastfeeding.

“We are responsible for both male and female children from the ages of three months to 12 years old,” the gym said in a statement. “Without express written consent from a parent or legal guardian of these minor children, we feel we do not have the right to dictate what the parent or guardian determines to be appropriate for their children.”

I must say I support this nurse in. As wacky as I think they can be I think it’s important that we dispel the myth that breastfeeding is a sexual activity and that children somehow need to be shielded from it.

Tampons, Diva Cups and IUDs

12.14.10

Dad. Go read something else. Now. Maybe Oatmeal.

Everyone else, we’re going to have to talk about menstruation.

Earlier this week I posted about the pink string on Kotex brand tampons, and how confusing pink can be. The twitter DM’s started pretty quickly.

Why aren’t you using a diva cup?

Eww gross, get a Diva Cup.

Don’t you know anything? You need a Diva Cup.

Ladies, in addition to tampons and pads for your menses, there are cups. Although the Diva Cup has made quite a splash with the bloggers, there are many other brands Soft Cup, Moon Cup, Lady Cup, Femmecup, and  Miacup are just a few.

Cups all seem to do the same thing. They collect your flow. You insert these things and collect away for up to 12 hours.

This seems great, and it seems that with the Soft Cup you can even have intercourse, but I see two big issues.

Removal and Birth Control.

I’m sure it’s really great to not have to buy tampons, but from the reviews I’m reading there’s still a need for pads just in case. Not to be gross, but just in case what? What happens when you need to empty the cup? What if you aren’t home, do you just walk to the sink at a public washroom with a hand full of grossness… I really can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want their menses to be disposable. We don’t have to reuse everything.

I’m green. I’m just not this green.

My understanding was that you cannot use the cup with an IUD, but now they seem to be saying you can use both, but ask your doctor first.

If there is any chance of the cup ruining my IUD I’m out. I waited my entire adult life to have unprotected sex, then I got married and had sex to have babies. The IUD lets me have a sex life without trying to make a baby or hoping that I haven’t. I am not giving up an IUD for anything in the world.

That being said, I’m forever grateful to the Diva Cup for getting the mom bloggers on board. Tanis’ son mistook it for a nipple insert, Elly found out that she has a large sized vagina, and Annika picked one up only to find out that she was pregnant and wouldn’t be needing it for at least 40 weeks. Even if I don’t love (even the idea of) the product like Cathy does, I can love the hilarity it brings to the blogosphere.

Video: Metrodome Roof Collapse

12.12.10

As if the Giants Vikings matchup needed more drama.

The Metrodome has collapsed under the weight of the extraordinary snowfall. Luckily Fox had some cameras rolling. The anchors describe it as something that James Cameron would make.

It’s absolutely incredible.